18. Chapter 18
The Woodland Halls
Two days and nights had gone by quickly and yet the fury of the young elleth had not in the least abated. She had made very little show of support for Legolas as he had prepared himself for the long march to battle he would endure the next day. This had dampened his mood and spirits greatly. Though they had had more bitter feuds during those two days than what they had ever had in the past six centuries of their relationship, Legolas continued to try to reason with her but to no avail. The last eve before their venture had now come about and the young prince had managed to convince Adlanniel to join him in his chambers, hoping to try one last time to convince her of the validity of his decision. He had also hoped to be able to coax her into his bed for one last time, for he did not truly know for how long he would be needed on the battle field nor did he truly know if he would return...though he doubted anything ill would become of him.
"Adlanniel, my beloved..." He began gently as he composed himself, hoping that her mood would have lightened a little seeing it was his last eve in the realm for some time.
"Do not start with the pleasantries Legolas..." She said coldly as she glared up at him, her beautiful eyes reddened and swollen from all the tears she had shed over the last couple of days.
"I will not have any of it!" And with that she turned her eyes away from him, anger at his betrayal of her trust and despair for her concerns for him weighing heavily on her heart.
"But Adlanniel..." He pleaded as he moved to sit beside her, she pulling herself away when he had leaned in to touch her cheek. He sat upright and stared at her, feeling frustrated that she would not listen to his plight.
"Why are you so bitter Adlanniel?" His voice sounded hurt and biting as he continued to look down on her.
"Bitter?" She questioned hotly as she glared back at him.
"You betrayed my trust Legolas! You...you made this daft decision without even consulting me! What type of husband would hold such a decision like that from his wife? Who Legolas?" She questioned him, her voice beginning to become choked with tears again.
Legolas, not thinking of what he was about to say replied coldly, "We are not yet married..." But he quickly regretted having let those words slip from his mouth and bit is bottom lip in guilt; saying that to her had been far too cruel. She had definitely taken it to heart as she stared at him, her heart clearly broken, it feeling like as if he had reached in and pulled it out of her chest.
Legolas was taken aback by the sharp sting across his cheek as she had slapped him with all of her force. He sat there, dazed, his hand on the smarting mark.
"Perhaps we never will be!" Her voice shuddered then as she stood. Angrily, and her heart full of stubborn anguish she pulled off the sterling ring Legolas had given her for their betrothal and threw it back at him, his eyes widening in shock as she did. He sat there, somewhat lost for words as she turned to storm away. Before she had reached the doors he had managed to lunge himself over the intricate sofa to catch her by the arms as she had reached for the door handles.
"No, Adlanniel, wait please!" He begged as she struggled against his strong hold.
"Please, it is my last night here and I do not know how soon I can see you again...please just listen to me!" By then he had become frustrated again and had pushed her hard against the door, she continuing to sob in despair.
"Please..." He pleaded more tenderly as he released some of his grip on her arms.
"I beg of you my love, please...just listen to what I have to say."
"Have I not listened enough?" She whimpered. "You do not care for what I have to say. You will still go off to fight."
"But it is my duty as heir of this realm to do so!" He protested, but in a more calm and mild tone.
"But what if you do not return?" Adlanniel fretted. "What if you are slain on the battlefield? Even the greatest warriors can fall...just as Gil-galad and Glorfindel once did!"
Legolas, trying to make light of what she had just said, replied, "And Glorfindel was brought back to life due to his deeds. Perhaps the Valar will grant me the same if I were to indeed fall."
"Do not jest!" Adlanniel raised her voice at him, staring into his eyes, trying to find some way in them to make him stay.
"What if I am with child now Legolas?" She said as one last attempt. "Do you want your child to grow up, not knowing their father?"
Legolas, feeling slightly defeated and guilty, sighed again in frustration. Indeed, she had a valid point but he felt confident in himself that he would not fall and would return to her and any child that she may bear.
"Then lay with me tonight." He begged quickly, his voice hopeful yet pleading.
"And give me your strength and love so that I may take it onto the battle field and use it as my unwavering shield."
Her eyes, burning and full of sorrow, gazed up to him then, unsure of how to reply. She did crave the warmth of his bed, to lie with him and have him fill the hole he had carved in her heart. But alas, she also burned for the other, the one she could not have and it buried an even deeper chasm into her soul. She turned her eyes away from him as he continued to gaze desperately into hers for some glimmer of hope.
"I..I can not..." She stammered. "The hurt is too great...I cannot!" And, pushing him harshly aside she fled again out into the halls, leaving Legolas standing there heartbroken. He suddenly felt hot tears burn at his eyes, in frustration and anguish that she, his dearly beloved elleth, would leave him alone on his final night within the Woodland Halls. He did not know when he would return, perhaps it could take a season...maybe more...maybe less...maybe he would not return at all. How could she leave him stranded when he needed her comfort and strength?
He stood now by a small table, gripping its edge tightly, unable to control the sobs of annoyance that racked at him. In a sudden fit of fury he flipped the table with such force it broke to pieces when it landed back onto the hard marble floor. That sudden burst from within him dissipated as he looked at the helpless mess he had created. How could he allow such a meagre thing as sexual denial get to him so fiercely? But alas he still wanted her, and feared that he would not see her again, something that pained him deeply.
The King's Chambers.
Thranduil looked up from the ancient book he had been reading when he heard the light tapping at his chamber's doors. "Who in the name of the Valar would come at such a late hour?" He thought to himself.
"You may enter." He commanded. The doors creaked open slowly as Legolas, excusing himself for the intrusion, entered.
"Apologies Ada...but I knew you would still be awake at this late hour..."
"I am surprised that you are Legolas. You have an arduous day ahead of you tomorrow." He said as he motioned for the prince to be seated, curious to his son's sudden presence as Legolas did not often come to speak to him privately.
"What ails you, iôn? It is not like you to seek me out at this late time."
"Goheno nin, Ada. But there is something...of a rather personal matter I wish to speak to you about."
"Of course, speak freely my dear son, I will listen and aid you in anyway I can."
"It is Adlanniel..." He began, turning his eyes down, saddened suddenly. Thranduil was quite surprised that Legolas would talk to him about her for he had expected that Legolas wanted to speak about his fears of his new role as leader of the army. But he knew then that it was not that that he was fretting about. He was fretting over a woman, something which inwardly amused him.
"You know how angered she has been over the past two eves. I can not fathom why she is so infuriated with me. Each time I have tried to reason with her she has just become more agitated..."
Thranduil listened intently as he poured them each a glass of warm wine from a golden pitcher.
"I have tried explaining to her why I must go...but she just will not listen. She is so stubborn!" He exclaimed then, his voice frustrated.
"That is not something you can change Legolas." Thranduil said as he took a draft of his wine, Legolas doing the same, hoping that the wine would calm his nerves.
"She is just like her mother."
Legolas looked to his father surprised then.
"How do you know this?" He questioned.
"I knew Celebrían and her family when we had lived in Lindon." He replied simply.
Legolas, nodding and taking another sip from his glass continued, "I can not understand females...why they are so steadfast and pigheaded..."
"Neither can I." Thranduil agreed. "But she worries for you Legolas, she frets that she may never see you again..."
"But does she not know of my worth? My abilities?" He protested.
"Of course she does." Thranduil replied calmly, smiling at his son in reassurance. "But is it not the duties of our wives, our lovers, to fret over out well-being? Indeed, she may fret too much, but that is just what she is like. She will come to soon enough."
"But already I must leave at the first break of dawn. I will leave without a kind word from her..." Legolas's voice was sunken and depressed.
Thranduil, moving to sit beside his son, put a sympathetic hand on his son's shoulder.
"If I may say...something even more personal..." The prince began.
"Of course." Thranduil reassured.
"She would not allow me to lay with her this night and threw her betrothal ring at me. She denied me...the last chance I may ever have to make love to her." He said solemnly.
It surprised Thranduil even more so that his son would divulge such intimate knowledge to him. It made his own desires burn again, and he felt severely guilty. Gulping down the wine that had been in his mouth, he placed his chalice back onto the table. Taking a breath, he cleared his mind of his own lustful thoughts, hiding his own desires well from his disheartened son.
Though Adlanniel's denial even surprised him, and again he felt a guilt stab at his heart, perhaps it was due to her own desires for the forbidden....
"Do not think that you will not return Legolas. You will, I know it deep within my being...." Thranduil tried to reassure. "Keep in your mind that she will be here, waiting for your return. She will be safe, I can assure you, so you do not need to worry. She loves you unconditionally, and that will never waver no matter what circumstances you are both forced to endure. She will give in to your desires when you return...and trust me....you will be thankful for having waited..."
Legolas, feeling a little uplifted from his father's words quirked an eyebrow at him, grinning.
"Oh? You speak from experience do you Ada?" He teased.
Thranduil laughed softly and grinned in return. "Of course I do."
Legolas could not help but let out a small laugh of amusement. "Well...if you put it that way..." He smiled as he took his last sip of wine.
"I just hope that she has calmed enough tomorrow to allow me to kiss her farewell."
"I am sure that she will, and will take back her ring with heartfelt love for you. She is not that cold hearted."
"I hope so..." Legolas sighed as he stood.
"Thank you for lifting my spirits Ada. I will go rest so that I wake in time before the sun rises. Quel du."
"Quel kaima, iôn." Thranduil replied warmly as he led his son to the door.
"Let your mind be at peace. Do not worry yourself further."
Nodding, Legolas made his leave.
Settling back down on his couch by the crackling fire, Thranduil poured himself another wine. He watched the flames dance and swirl in the hearth, its auburn glow warming his tired face. As he let his mind drift back off into deep thought he could not help but wonder about Adlanniel's excessive behaviour. It seemed too much even for her.
Indeed, he understood that she had endured much pain and suffering during the week past, but what else plagued her? He could only think of one thing...the same as what he too was suffering and it saddened him immensely; The guilt that they both felt for the burning desire within each other was eating them from within. How much longer could either of them resist?
Thranduil let out a long doleful sigh as he walked out to his private balcony that overlooked the mountains and the river below.
He gazed up to the clear sky, the stars shimmering like pure white diamonds against black silk. He could feel the unwavering evil weighing upon the air, and he frowned at the destruction that he could foresee it bringing. But it was not the battles that he was letting his son fight that worried him. There was a greater malice, not yet awakened but soon to be re-born. It tired him, for he had fought and suffered through great evils during his long life. Why must the ones he loved all be brought to suffer now?
Elvish - English
Ada - Father
iôn - son
Goheno nin - Forgive me/ I'm sorry
Quel kaima, iôn - Sleep weel, son
Quel du - good night
elleth - Female elf
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.